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2008, XII

By Wendell Berry

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…
   Hosea 4:6

We forget the land we stand on
and live from. We set ourselves
free in an economy founded
on nothing, on greed verified
by fantasy, on which we entirely
depend.  We depend on fire
that consumes the world without
lighting it.  To this dark blaze
driving the inert metal
of our most high desire
we offer our land as fuel,
thus offering ourselves at last
to be burned. This is our riddle
to which the answer is a life
that none of us has lived.

Added: Thursday, October 9, 2014  /  From "This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems" (Counterpoint Press, 2013). Used with permission. © Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is a beloved American writer, a novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer.  The author of more than 40 books, his most recent publications include: Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder (Counterpoint, 2014); This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems (Counterpoint, 2013); and A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership (Counterpoint, 2012).  He lives with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Port Royal, Kentucky.

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